Latest Funding News and Please Vote for Us!

Help Erlas Victorian Walled Garden grow a future!

Recent successes have meant that we can now fully commit ourselves to the further development of our wonderful site. We want that future to be built on:

• Broadening the offer we are able to make to those with personal challenges of all types; especially those with learning disabilities. This might include new training courses, new work experience, new personal development opportunities or increased day care facilities.
• Opening the site to wider community access; especially those with an interest in ecology, environment, history and natural produce. This might include new site attractions, new opening hours or new facilities.
• Including more people; especially those who value the Garden’s character, setting and position. This might include other charities, educators, health/care providers, voluntary groups, clubs, societies, shoppers, families, etc!

Please follow the link to either the Welsh Questionnaire Questionairre Final Draft 1 6 17 Cymraeg; or the English Questionairre:Questionairre Final Draft. 1.6.17 , and return your views to ann.morton@erlas.org by 30th June, please.

We have also been successful in reaching the final rounds of a number of Community Awards: Can I ask you to vote for us in the following?
The first one is for the Local Co-op Community Fund, and we are one of 3 local charities chosen to be awarded a share of whatever funds are accrued from Co-op members using their membership cards when buying Co-op branded goods, between April and October 9th 2017. We could win up to £4000, if we are the most popular charity to be voted for. Please go to coop.co.uk/membership to make us your cause.

The second one is with the 300th Anniversary of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, and we have been chosen as one of 4 North Wales Charities to win either £25,000; £15,000; £6,000 and £4,000. To cast your votes, then you need to go to mcf.org.uk/vote, and select the “Wales, North” province, and vote for Erlas Victorian Walled Garden. You can vote only once, and by July 31st please.

Coming soon! We are one of 3 local charities to reach the finals of the Tesco Carrier Bag Fund, and from 1st July through to 31st August, as you shop at the main Wrexham Tesco Superstore LL13 8HF, with a purchase of any value you will receive a token (you may have to ask for one!). Then you place the token in the ‘box’ for Erlas Victorian Walled Garden. 1st prize is £4000, 2nd prize is £2000, 3rd Prize is £1,000.

Fingers crossed and “Thankyou” to all.

 

Sweltering heat for our 6th Annual Victorian Summer Fayre!

Last Saturday 17th June, we opened our gates to our local communities, and at least 300 people visited, raising around £1300 for our Charity.

Many volunteers and staff volunteered their time to prepare for this event, and on the day, visitors strolled around the gardens, admiring the plants, (and weeds -sorry!); and the latest projects such as the roundhouse roof completion and the raised brick beds. However, due to the beautiful weather (30 degrees centigrade) many people enjoyed a delicious ice-cream, served from a ‘mobile’ ice-cream bicycle, on loan from Erddig, of the National Trust.

Ann holds a chocolate ice-cream; served by Geoff and Alison, alongside Andrew (Director), who was immaculately dressed despite the hot temperatures.

Light refreshments, served by Sheila and Peggy in the greenhouse, were enjoyed in the  shade on the balcony. Photographer for the day, Kelly Ashford, took the following photos of people enjoying themselves throughout the afternoon

People were able to play badminton or take part in pond-dipping (Thanks to Cath, Pat, Yvonne and Jane who helped out). The pond creatures had all descended to the bottom of the wild-life pond due to the heat, and there was little demand for may-pole dancing this time…

Here is a picture of Kelly, who is reading one of her short stories to Gareth and Sheila. Kelly has written 16 short stories about the Erlas Walled Garden, and is happy to read some of these stories to friends and visitors alike.

Other attractions were the Gnome Hunt (thanks to Kate for helping on the day),  the tombola, (thanks to Sally and Rachael); the raffle (thanks to Anna Maria and Tia); the craft stall (thanks to Sylvia and Avril); the home-made cake stall (thanks to Rosemary, Cathy and Janis), the plant-stall (thanks to Emma and Sue) and to the home grown vegetable stall (thanks to Carlton) and of course to the people who stood at the gates (Ray and Ian C) and to those who collected our entrance fees (Stan and Ian M). Libby, Pat and Ann helped on he day too, but were unable to reduce the temperatures, (even with extra gazebos and air coolers!)

Visitors included many people who had never been to the gardens before, and to friends and supporters, including Ian and Norah Lucas. Here you can see Ian, Norah, Ann, Andrew, Stan and Mike admiring the plants on Emma’s plant shop.

To finish off – a big ‘Thank you’ to all our students, volunteers, friends, and supporters who helped organise, promote and run the event. We hope you all enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing you again in the gardens this summer too. Potatoes, French beans, lettuce, broad beans and courgettes are being cropped now, with raspberries and blackcurrants coming soon.

Early June Update!

As promised in our last news item, we are proudly growing 2 giant pumpkin plants just outside the original walled garden on a south facing (and sheltered) wall. Nick (of www.justseed.com) planted each seed in May, and has been taking pictures to monitor their growth each week, and watering them when it has been dry. Nick says that he is hoping for a female flower to appear in early July, on a 10-12ft long stem. This will hopefully be the start of the ‘giant’ pumpkin. We are aiming for a 100 lb pumpkin! (in ‘old’ money!)

Here is one pumpkin on 26th May:

…And here it is today (14th June)

Will keep you all posted on the pumpkins’ growth!

We also said ‘Goodbye’ to 2 students from Chester University, Sophie and Rachael. The girls have helped out in all activities for 6 weeks, and have made friends with students, staff and volunteers alike.

Here is a picture of Rachel with Phil in the gardens. They worked so well together and were always joking!

And here is a picture of Sophie, with Damon and Stephen.

Finally – after many months of hard work by mainly Ray and Carlton, although they had lots of help too – the cedar shingle roof is nearly finished. Here you can see Ray pretending to be a Buddha on the roof!

A final reminder that it will be our 6th Annual Summer Fayre this Saturday 19th June. Our gardens will be open from 1pm to 4pm for everyone to see what we do here, to meet our students, and to walk around the gardens after some light refreshments. See our Events section for more details!

“See you there!”

 

Visit by Lesley Griffiths, AM.

Last Friday 26th May, we welcomed Lesley Griffiths, our Patron (and long time friend) to the gardens. Lesley had not visited for a while, and was shown around the nearly completed projects that have been carried out in the West Garden.

Lesley was impressed with the raised beds, which have been built by brick-laying apprentices from Bersham Road, Coleg Cambria. Lesley was also shown the new cedar shingle roof on the roundhouse, which Ray and Carlton have skilfully been working on, with the help of others, over the past few months. It is hoped that when the roof is completed, with new windows too, many visitors and community groups will be able to use the facility to keep dry and for rest breaks.

Lesley was able to take some asparagus with her, and we are still cropping asparagus, along with lettuce, rhubarb, herbs, and broad beans.

Last week, Avril and everyone said ‘goodbye’ to Samantha, who is a trainee Social Worker from Glyndwr University. Sam has been with us since April, and has joined the team in all activities. We will all miss her! Good luck in your future studies, Sam.

Coming soon….The growth of a giant pumpkin…..(By Nick of Just Seed, www.justseed.com)